Campaign Overview

Initiated in the spring of 2001, the UC Nuclear Free Campaign stands on the shoulders of a long history of community mobilization toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. The campaign honors this legacy and provides opportunities for a younger generation to contemplate critical issues related to nuclear weapons, claim a voice, and create positive change. Specifically, the campaign highlights the University of California’s management of the nation’s primary nuclear weapons labs: Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore.

To date, the campaign is driven by student groups on 5 key UC campuses (Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Davis) and community groups with an expertise in nuclear issues: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara, Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (CAREs) in Livermore, California; Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, California; Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the Los Alamos Study Group in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Toward advancing the UC Nuclear Free Campaign, these groups have formed the Coalition to Demilitarize the University of California.
A Warm Welcome

On October 2nd, 2003, UC President Designate Robert Dynesl began his term overseeing one of the largest public university systems in the world: $1 billion in annual donations, 1.2 million alumni, 190,000 students, and 2 nuclear weapons laboratories. During his term, the Regents will decide whether or not to bid to continue managing Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the primary US nuclear weapons laboratories. We ask that members of the UC community, specifically students, faculty, staff, and alumni, seize each of the first 100 days of Dynes’ presidency as opportunities to voice our varied opposition to UC’s role in the development of nuclear weapons. We ask that these voices are joined by diverse stakeholders in the future of humanity, such as high school seniors applying to a UC school, former and current lab employees, parents of UC students, community residents, hibakusha (survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), elected officials, religious leaders, and entertainers. Our aim is for Dynes to receive at least 1 letter per day for 100 days beginning with his first day in office and lasting through January 9th, 2004.
Getting Started

A series of talking points and questions are listed herein to help individuals craft their letters. We ask that each letter end by making the following requests: (1) sponsor a series of public forums and (2) hold a televised debate on the UC management of nuclear weapons. Advice from Congressional staff suggests that handwritten, personalized letters are highly effective. Similarly, crayon drawings may be a way to involve young children in discussions about peace, nonviolence, and the power of one person. Editorial assistance is available through contacting either Tara Dorabji (925) 443-7148 or Michael Coffey (805) 965-3443.
Talking Points

  1. Every nuclear weapon in the US arsenal was created in part by a UC employee.
  2. The UC Regents have managed the nation’s primary nuclear weapons labs under a contract that has never been put up for competitive bid in over 50 years. Earlier this year, the Department of Energy announced that the Los Alamos contract will be put up for bid. UC has not decided whether or not to bid.
  3. The current administration is pushing for a possible return to full scale underground nuclear testing and develop new, “more usable” and “bunker busting” nuclear weapons.
  4. The development and production of new nuclear weapons are illegal under Article VI of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which became law in 1970 and requires that: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
  5. UC scientists conduct subcritical nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site on Shoshone land that was seized by the U.S. government. The battle for land rights continues in courts to this day.
  6. Both the Livermore and Los Alamos sites are contaminated by large amounts of radioactive waste that has seeped off-site.
  7. US nuclear weapons policy is explicitly offensive and several documents name countries that the US has contingency plans for preemptive strikes. Some of these nations do not possess nuclear weapons.
  8. The US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war.
  9. As institutions within the University of California system, Los Alamos and
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories gain access to some of the “best and brightest” minds to recruit into nuclear weapons design.
  10. There are numerous historical examples of young people and students fighting on the frontlines of the movement for social justice. Continuing this legacy, many student groups were active during the 2002-2003 school year, speaking out and organizing around militarism, environmental, and racism issues.
  11. For decades, UC faculty members have been active, vocal opponents of UC’s continued and expanded role in nuclear weapons development. While this activism has taken the form of letters to newspaper editors, testimony at Regents meetings, and referendums, a series of reports serves as the greatest resource for gauging faculty sentiment on this issue: Academic Senate Report (November 1989), Galvin Report (February 1995), and University Committee on Research Policy Report (January 1996
    UC President Designate Robert Dynes has been a consultant with the Los Alamos National Laboratory for over 20 years.
  12. Nuclear weapons constitute one category of weapons of mass destruction. The other categories are chemical and biological weapons. UC Davis is being considered as a site for a Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory for biological weapons. Researchers at level 4 laboratories study the most dangerous germs known to humans, such as SARS, anthrax, and Ebola.


Sponsor a series of objective and inclusive forums on the issue, at least one on every campus. Such forums need to reach various constituencies, specifically students, faculty, and staff.

Hold a televised debate on the UC management of the nuclear weapons labs.Stop the University of California from all collaborations that develop or enable the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction.


Please pre-date your letter between October 2nd, 2003 and January 9, 2004. Contact Michael to find out which date we need you to cover. Address your letter to Robert Dynes and copy each UC Regent. It would help this effort a great deal if you would send us your letter as soon as possible. We will continue to accept letters throughout the duration of the campaign. This will enable us to maintain a persistent stream of letters. If you’re interested in a particular day, such as Dia de la Raza, Veterans’ Day, or Christmas, please contact Michael Coffey as soon as possible at (805) 965-3443 or
Please address the letters as follows:

Robert Dynes, President

The Regents of the University of California

Office of the Secretary

1111Franklin Street, 12th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607-5200
Please “CC” each Regent:

Richard Blum, Ward Connerly, John Davies, Judith Hopkinson, Odessa Johnson, Joanne Kozberg, Sherry Lansing, David Lee, Monica Lozano, George Marcus, Velma Montoya, John Moores, Gerald Parsky, Norman Pattiz, Peter Preuss, Haim Saban, Tom Sayles, Cruz Bustamante, Herb Wesson, Gray Davis, Jack O’Connell, Matt Murray, Jodi Anderson
Please send letters to the following address:

Michael Coffey, Youth Outreach Coordinator

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

PMB 121, 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 1

Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2761

Upon receipt of letters, we will make an electronic copy for documentation purposes, make additional hard copies to send to each Regent, and mail the letters on the appropriate date. In order to confirm that we received your letter, please provide us with your email address and/or phone number.

During the campaign, select letters will be featured online, while at the end of the campaign a “best of” document will be created that includes selected letters, photographs, an introduction to the issues, and ideas for actions. The document will be a valuable organizing tool for future efforts.

We would love to hear from if you know others who would be interested in writing a letter and/or contributing toward the success of the campaign in some other way. Thank you for your time and devotion!

Draft Letter Outline

Your name

Full Address

Your telephone, fax, and email information
Date the letter
Robert Dynes, President

The Regents of the University of California

Office of the Secretary

1111Franklin Street, 12th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607-5200
Dear President Dynes,
· Identify yourself (state your UC affiliation or connection to issue).

· Share your personal thoughts on UC’s role in weapons development.

· State requests.

· Thank Dynes for his attention to your concerns.

· Let Dynes know that you look forward to hearing from him.




Sign your name

Type or print your name


CC: Richard Blum, Ward Connerly, John Davies, Judith Hopkinson, Odessa Johnson, Joanne Kozberg, Sherry Lansing, David Lee, Monica Lozano, George Marcus, Velma Montoya, John Moores, Gerald Parsky, Norman Pattiz, Peter Preuss, Haim Saban, Tom Sayles, Cruz Bustamante, Herb Wesson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack O’Connell, Matt Murray, Jodi Anderson

Please contact Michael Coffey, Youth Outreach Coordinator, for further information on campaign at 805. 965.3443 or